Journalist Khashoggi's murder: US official meets Saudi crown prince despite global backlash

AFP Riyadh Saudi Arabia Oct 23, 2018, 05.46 AM(IST)

File Photo: A demonstrator holds a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Photograph:( Reuters )

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday held closed-door talks in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has faced a global backlash over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

The official Saudi Press Agency said they stressed "the importance of the Saudi-US strategic partnership" in a meeting on the eve of a key investment conference in Riyadh.

Mnuchin is an among a wave of Western political leaders who pulled out of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) amid global outrage over the journalist's murder in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate.

Turkish officials say the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was "savagely planned" as evidence emerged of a body double leaving the building in the murdered journalist's clothes.

Trump said on Monday he was "not satisfied" with Riyadh's explanation of how Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, died inside the Saudi consulate. Mnuchin's withdrawal from the investment conference came after top financial, trade and foreign officials from Britain, France and Germany also dropped out.

The Saudis have said they plan to move forward with the conference, scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday, despite a wave of cancellations by business titans and media giants.

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